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ISL 2017/18: Bengaluru FC coach Albert Roca wants fans to get home safely after Kerala Blasters game

ANALYST
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1.98K   //    28 Feb 2018, 16:42 IST

Albert Roca
Albert Roca

What’s the story?

The much anticipated Bengaluru FC versus Kerala Blasters game is knocking on the doors and the situation can’t get bigger and better as the Blasters need a victory at any cost to stay afloat in the ISL playoffs race.

The aforementioned teams have the strongest fan base in ISL and often the supporters get involved in friendly banters. However, this ISL edition has witnessed some instances of fan violence in the initial stages of the tournament and the authorities concerned don’t want a repeat of those ugly scenes in this game which is to be played at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru.

Bengaluru FC coach Albert Roca urged both sets of supporters to enjoy the match and not create any ruckus. “I would love to see a good game and for the fans to enjoy the show. That's the most important thing. As footballers, they live for rivalries and it helps the sport to grow,” he said at the pre-match press conference.

In case you didn’t know...

Earlier it was reported that Bengaluru FC had blocked a major number of seats in the away gallery to stop the travelling Kerala fans from making their presence felt in the stadium. The Kerala Blasters supporters wanted those seats to be unblocked or else they would take over the West Block – a section of the Kanteerava Stadium which gets occupied by BFC’s fan group West Block Blues on match days.

The heart of the matter

Bengaluru have already made it to the playoffs but the Blasters’ hopes of a top-four finish are hanging by a thread. They have to win this game and hope that other results go their way to progress any further. Thus this encounter has all the ingredients to become a blockbuster. However, Roca wants the fans to keeps things healthy.

“I want to see both fans shouting loud and supporting the team and a healthy competition on the pitch because that's the most important thing in any sport,” he said. “The tension should begin and end in the stands and I urge the fans to keep things healthy. I want all the fans to enjoy the game and get home safe.”

“I'm sure the Kerala Blasters coach would say the same thing. It's important to ensure that the show is at a high standard in all aspects,” he added.

What’s next?

Kerala will be desperate to get all three points whereas as victory here for Bengaluru FC will help them breach the 40-point mark in the group stage.

Author’s take

Fans are bound to get emotional but that shouldn’t drive them to such an extent which would translate into trouble in the stands. Roca has sent a very important message for both sets of fans and he should be credited for the effort.

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